Sometimes people can hurt us. Sometimes through sexual, emotional or physical abuse. Sometimes through a betrayal of our trust and friendship, which is also a form of abuse. Sometimes by proxy by condoning the actions of another who has hurt or abused us, usually by silence or trying to silence us when we protest. The list could go on and on and incorporate many variations and combinations of this hurting.
Anyone who has been through counselling knows that at some point you are confronted by the pain of knowledge. The enormity and truth of what has happened to you through the words and actions of another person comes home with the force of a knife in the ribs. The pain is incredible.
Some people choose to back away from the truth through denial. They continue a relationship with the abuser or false friend. They pretend nothing has happened because they cannot deal with the pain. Other people turn on the councillor or messenger and direct their anger towards them because they are not able to confront reality and deal with the pain. It is easier to blame the persons who remind them of the pain and try to silence them than it is to confront the abuser to change the status quo or sever their links with the false friend. Some people abuse themselves with drink, drugs and addictions of many kinds to anaesthetise the pain.
All these strategies do not deal with the pain. They postpone or misdirect the pain, but it continues to gnaw away inside, slowly destroying themselves and their loved one, and ruining any chance of healthy relationships.
Facing the pain and embracing it is not masochistic. It is the only way to heal. It is like grasping the nettle. It has been liken to amputation and it is a true analogy. The person who can hurt us so deeply is often part of our lives, through blood or friendship. The experience goes deeply within us. Sometime we have to lose part of ourselves in order to survive. It is like a death. If we try to avoid grief, we suffer more. If we immerse ourselves in grief then we heal more quickly. We never go back to the person we were before, but we become a stronger and more complete person.
In my experience, people who deflect or deny abuse and hurt, people who take their hurt out on themselves and others, do not heal.